February 2024 marks ten years since young hair stylist Hollie Gazzard was murdered by her ex-partner in her workplace – after suffering abuse in a violent relationship which she had recently ended.
Since that time, Hollie’s family, parents, Nick and Mandy, and her sister, Chloe, through the Hollie Gazzard Trust, have campaigned tirelessly to educate young people around domestic violence and have raised over £2 million to help others globally. Hollie’s story has been told around the world and her family have relived the pain of this loss over and over again, in public, to save the lives of others.
“Hollie was a wonderful young woman and not a day goes by when we do not feel that loss. These ten years have been both long and short – and we feel there’s so much more to do to let anyone know that abuse within a relationship is not acceptable and does not have to be tolerated. There is help out there. The signs can be seen and we can all take responsibility to do something about it,” Nick said.
Hollie’s family are holding a remembrance service at Gloucester Cathedral – where Hollie’s funeral was held – at 6.45pm on Tuesday 20 February, to mark the milestone and commemorate her life and legacy.
The service will be led by the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek and an open invitation has been issued to the local community, family, friends, supporters, sponsors and allies of the Trust.
“As we continue to give thanks for Hollie and her life, so too we give thanks for the inspirational work done in memory of her, to educate young people about healthy relationships and violence against women and girls. This has led to transformed lives seen and unseen,” Bishop Rachel said.
Bishop Rachel and the team at Gloucester Cathedral have had a close relationship with the Gazzard family and have supported their work around empowering people to avoid or leave unhealthy relationships.
Another key supporter of the Trust is Jodie Fraser, of Fraser Allen Estate Management, who is a Trust ambassador and an adopter of the Hollie Guard app for her staff.
“I know this service will be very emotional for Nick and his family. I didn’t know Hollie during her life; however, what I do know is the difference that the Gazzard family have made in any debate around domestic abuse. Their work has undoubtedly saved lives and saved families from suffering the tragedy they live with on a daily basis,” Jodie said.
Hollie died after being stabbed by her ex-partner in Gloucester and her attacker was subsequently jailed for life. Since her death, her family learned that she had been subject to abuse and he had a history of abusive behaviour.
On learning this, they decided to do something about it and they are still working hard – with Nick heading up the Hollie Gazzard Trust. During this tenth anniversary year they hope to raise £100,00o to further their work.
The Trust already has an international reputation for providing practical support to those facing domestic abuse alongside prevention programmes such as the Hollie Guard app. This app can be used by anyone as a safeguarding device if they feel at risk while going about their daily routine. The app has had more than 500,000 downloads to date. A paid-for version provides access to a Police-approved 24/7 monitoring service.
Nick’s charitable work was recognised recently when he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Gloucestershire. The Remembrance Service is open to all.
You can complete Raising awareness of domestic abuse training online through the Safeguarding Training Portal. If you would rather complete it face to face, the next diocesan training on is on Wednesday 13 Match at Church House, Gloucester.